Talk:Southwest Florida

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I've put some significant work in to this article, but there is still a lot more that could be added. I've imparted my own knowledge but I hope someone can add sections about the environment (concerns RE: Charlotte Harbor, Everglades, water pollution, water shortages, Lake Okeechobee releases in to the Caloosahatchee River, etc etc) as well as just some general stuff I have unintentionally omitted. Trevormartin227 16:07, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi, lots of good work on this page! Would you consider Glades County to be SW Florida? It does not seem to neatly fit into any of the other regions described on Wikipedia. This one seemes to make the most sense.

  • Thanks for the compliment. Yes, speaking for myself anyway, I would consider Glades County part of SW Florida, and the ommission was not intentional. Especially since the SW Florida Regional Planning Council considers Glades under its jurisdiction, I would think that adding information about Glades (and importantly, updating the stats throughout the article) would be good. Are you willing to do that?Trevormartin227 14:10, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Hi, me again, except this time I signed in. :-) I'd be happy to double check numbers and such. I will add info on Glades. I might even add an image or two of the region. I am no expert, though, just a swamp rat from Buckhead Ridge. lol I will post the changes by Sunday or so. Feel totally free to add to, delete, edit, change, do whatever to the stuff I post.


That looks really great. I fixed the error in 2000 vs 2004 headers, but otherwise, run with it. Trevormartin227 21:37, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Thanks... More to come and I am still working on it, just wanted somewhere to store stuff while I work.

Hi, how does it look? Should I post it on the main page? Nosimplehiway 06:36, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Go for it. But, East Naples is not the county seat of Collier; Naples is...Trevormartin227 15:10, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Uh[edit]

This article might as well take Sarasota and Manatee county out of it. It has next to nothing about it, probably because most people in Sarasota or Manatee counties would feel they are in the Tampa Bay Region. But, anyway, it would be nice for this article to have more about the two counties... Iraqiman 03:47, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Southwest Florida[edit]

Map of Southwest Florida

Southwest Florida is a region of Florida located along its gulf coast, south of the Tampa Bay area, west of Lake Okeechobee and mostly north of the Everglades.

Ford's winter home - view from the direction of Caloosahatchee River.

As of 2000, the population of Southwest Florida was 1,500,846. A 2004 US Census Bureau [1] estimate places the region's population at 1,704,155, a four year growth rate of 13.5%.

The most populous county in the region is Lee County, and the region's largest city is Cape Coral.

Counties[edit]

Bonita Beach
Florida U.S. Congressional Districts
Orange Blossoms, the Florida State Flower
County County Seat Pop. (2004 est.) Pop. (2000) Change (2000 - 2004) Change (1990 - 2000)
  Charlotte County Punta Gorda 157,134 141,627 +10.9% +27.6%
  Collier County Naples 296,678 251,377 +18.0% +65.3%
  DeSoto County Arcadia County 34,892 32,209 +8.3% +35.0%
  Glades County Moore Haven 11,131 10,576 +5.2% +39.3%
  Hendry County LaBelle 38,163 36,120 +5.4% +40.5%
  Lee County Fort Myers 514,295 440,888 +16.6% +31.6%
  Manatee County Bradenton 296,385 264,002 +12.3% +24.7%
  Sarasota County Sarasota 355,477 325,957 +9.1% +17.3%
Total 1,704,155 1,500,846 +13.5%
  Florida - statewide 17,397,161 15,982,378 +8.8%% +23.5%

Major incorporated cities[edit]

Major unincorporated communities[edit]

Communities listed have a population greater than 30,000 according to the 2000 census.






Development[edit]

Fishermen wading in Fort Myers Beach, FL

Southwest Florida was largely ignored by commercial developers until the late 1800s, and as such, lacks much of the heavier development present in other parts of Florida, such as that found in the central or southern regions of the state. In recent years however, there has been a major real estate boom focusing on downtown Fort Myers (high-rise residential condominiums); southern Lee County (commercial development and high-technology); and eastern Collier County (residential development). Overall, the region notably suffers from urban sprawl; however, numerous efforts in recent years have been made to remedy this situation, especially as the urbanized area of the coastal counties pushes eastward in to agricultural land and the sensitive Everglades.

Inland counties (De Soto, Hendry and Glades Counties) are notably rural, with the primary economic driver being agriculture. Important products grown in this area include tomatoes, beef, sugarcane, and citrus products including oranges. Agricultural harvesting in Southwest Florida employs approximately 16,000 seasonal workers, 90 percent of which are thought to be migrants. [2]

Regional transportation[edit]

Southwest Florida is served by several major highways, including the Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41) and the Interstate 75 freeway, both of which connect the area to Tampa to the north, and Ft. Lauderdale/Miami to the east. Long-term cooperative infrastructure planning is coordinated by the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council (web site), and in heavily populated Lee County, the Metropolitan Planning Organization.

In addition, Southwest Florida International Airport, located in South Fort Myers, served over 7.5 million passengers in 2005 and offers non-stop flights to 3 cities in Europe and 2 in Canada, in addition to 36 domestic airports. The area's secondary airport, Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, serves slightly less than 1 million passengers per year.

The Port of Manatee provides a full range of port services for commercial, industrial and cruise ship purposes.

Greyhound Lines serves several locations in Southwest Florida, including Bradenton, Fort Myers, Naples, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Sarasota Sarasota.

Tourism[edit]

Tourism is a major economic driver in the area. In addtion, many seasonal residents live in the area during the winter months, as temperatures in south Florida stay very moderate during that time of year.

Sunset over the bay in Bonita Beach

Major attractions/destinations:

  • Beaches in the following locales:
File:Lakeokeechobee.jpg
Lake Okeechobee from (to right out of picture) the Florida Trail on the Hoover Dike.
  • Attractions including:
    Edison's winter home - view from the road.

Spring training[edit]

Florida is the traditional home for Major League Baseball spring training, with teams informally organized into the "Grapefruit League." As of 2004, Southwest Florida hosts the following major league teams for spring training:



Pictures[edit]

The pictures are all great, but the way they were put on the page was quite cluttered and messy. Here are all the pictures that were on the page...let's see if we can't arrange them better and with a nod toward topical layout?Trevormartin227 19:15, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Heartland Region[edit]

(I originally posted this to Category Talk:Regions of Florida, but it needs to be addressed here as well, since it would impace this page. I had to comment out the photos because they broke the page.)

In all of the regions currently delineated, none currently include the Counties of Highlands, Hardee, or Okeechobee. These three counties, along with Desoto, Hendry, and Glades County (currently all part of Southwest Florida), should be included in a new region, the Heartland Region. This is not an arbitrary decision on my part, as it has currency in both public and private use. A few references:

Florida Trend.com

Enterprise Florida

Heartland Educational Consortium, a quasi-governmental agency

Tampa Tribune article which defines the Heartland region in the fifth paragraph

Florida Department of Transportation .PDF identifying the Heartland Region


I can create the article easily enough, using the other regional entries, but it will require a change to the Southwest Florida article, including a new map, a task for which I am not equipped. Before I start creating new regions, I want to get some from of approval from the WP:Florida project team.

Horologium talk - contrib 19:35, 14 May 2007 (UTC)